Can the mind observe without time?
Beliefs dissipate energy
2nd Public Talk, Rajghat
November 26, 1972
What shall we talk about? If you have no suggestions may I talk about curiosity and the desire for experience, and see where that will lead us? Most of us have a strong urge, I think, deeply to have every kind of experience. Not only the pleasurable ones but also if you are rather sadistic the painful ones. And experience in our search for truth becomes almost a necessity. We want greater and greater experiences and the more one seeks in one's life a deeper meaning, the depth depends on experience. The word 'experience' means to go through. But we never go through an experience. We retain some of it. We never finish with experience. And curiosity to find out. Most of us are very curious. I want to find out - one wants to find out what is truth, if there is such a thing at all. What is real meditation? What is the truth about death? What is love? One wants to know very deeply the significance of all this. So, if you could begin: why the mind demands experiences at all, and are experiences a means of awakening the dull mind, and is there an experience of truth or of enlightenment or what name you like to give to it?
First of all, we are bored with our life: the daily living, the monotony, the boredom, the mechanical activities that go on. And we are not satisfied with those experiences, whether they are sexual, pleasurable, painful and all the rest of it. We want more experiences. There is a deep urge in most people to have experiences beyond the ordinary. So they are always seeking greater and greater and greater experiences. Aren't you? If you observe in yourselves, aren't you seeking wider, deeper, nobler, ultimate, whatever it is, final experience? And so, what is it that we are seeking? You are all there and I am here. What is it we are seeking? And why do you seek? I think these two questions are quite important: what is it that we are seeking and why do we seek at all? Is it a curiosity or the search born out of great discontent with ordinary living, or is it to find a safe shelter in which the mind can never be again disturbed?
So, I think it is important to find out for oneself, what is one seeking and why we go from one school of thought or one guru after another, chase them, you know, playing with all this, all the time, why? So, what is it that we are seeking? The ultimate pleasure, the ultimate bliss, the ultimate abstraction of heaven, nirvana, what you will, which others have experienced, or at least they say they have experienced, and we would like also to taste, to taste that experience. Is that what we are seeking? And what is the motive, the drive, behind search? There you are, sirs. Some of you have come a very long way, others have come a few miles. If you weren't seeking you wouldn't be here. You wouldn't be sitting there listening to somebody. So, you are seeking something. Just a minute, sir. Just a minute. Let me finish, if you don't mind.
Q: You may be wrong.
K: Right, sir, I may be wrong. Sir, to say someone else is wrong or someone is right stops all enquiry, all investigation. And we are here to investigate, to find out, not to assert, not to accept or to deny, but to find out for ourselves, share the things together, think together and, therefore, create together. That is what communication means, not whether you are right, I am wrong or someone else is truthful. But we are together engaged in this question why the human mind is always seeking, more, wider, deeper experience. Which is a fact. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. You might have come out of curiosity or to deny what the speaker is saying or to say you are perfectly right - though that has no meaning.
Just a minute, sir. What has meaning is to investigate together our human problems: the human problem of suffering, the human problem of death, the problem of love, relationship, so many things - our human problems. And one of our problems is this: this everlasting seeking, seeking, seeking and saying I have found it. I have got it. So, one has to, as it is a human problem, one has to go into it together and see what one discovers for oneself in this investigation. Therefore, one has to investigate not only what is verbally said, but also through that verbal explanation or description, investigate that which is going on within us. So, we are asking: what is it that we are seeking and why do we seek? What is there to find? Is it that we want to experience something far greater, nobler, extensive, wider, deeper than the ordinary experiences of daily living? Is it that we are bored with our life, which is quite trivial, and we want something far greater? And what is the motive behind this search? And when you say you have found it, how do you know what you have found unless you have experienced it before and have knowledge of it and therefore recognise it? I don't know if you follow this? If you have knowledge of it, remember it and therefore recognise it, it is already old. Therefore it's nothing new. Either what you have found is what other people have said, or out of your own conditioned responses project a desire, a concept and say I have got it.
So, we must be very clear in asking this question: what is the human mind seeking and why it is seeking? In this is involved several things. Time. Time is involved in search. That is, I must have several days, years, a long period to discover or experience something extraordinary. So time is involved. Right? And who is it that is seeking? What is the entity that says 'I must find?' And when it does find it, how does he know that it is truth, that it is enlightenment? You are following all this? And if you allow time to discover, will time give you the opportunity to see? Is time necessary at all? You are following all this? So, experience implies the one who is experiencing. Therefore in that there is division: the experiencer and the experience. Is not the experience the experiencer? Right? And why should human beings have experience at all? Is it to keep them awake or otherwise they'll go to sleep? Therefore, a mind that is asleep, dull, has many conclusions, opinions, judgements. Experience become a means of shaking him from those established positions. Right? And why need a mind ever come to any conclusion? Please. You are following all this?
Now, that's one point. Next point is: in trying to find out what that extraordinary thing is, if it exists at all, meditation has become a means to that. Right? Does meditation demand time? You understand? Or observation, attention has no time quality in it at all. Are we following each other? You look puzzled, sir. I want to find out why we have to meditate at all. I know it's the established tradition. One has done it. Why? In meditation is implied control of thought. And who is the controller of that thought? Thought itself. Therefore, control may not be necessary at all. All these things have been imposed on us and I am - we are now questioning the whole structure of meditation as a means of experiencing something immense, the immeasurable. And that means time. Can the mind, which is the result of time through evolution and so on, can the mind which is the result of time find something which is timeless? And we say we can find it only through meditation which implies further time. So, is perception of reality a matter of time? Or is it to be seen instantly without the sense of continuity? You see something, you have an insight to something. When you have that insight, at that second there is no time. Right? Please, look at it for yourself. When you are completely attentive, time doesn't exist. Then thought comes and says 'I must have that state of attention all the time.' So, thought creates time, not the moment of attention. Right? So, is the perception or having an insight, perception of 'what is' and going beyond 'what is', is it a matter of time? Or is it an instant observation, and that very instant observation is the propulsion, is the 'going beyond'? Are we going together or not at all? Not at all. Right.
K: Wrong question, sir.
Q: How do you
K: I am not saying why. Sir, look, I am violent. I am violent, one is violent. Is it possible to go beyond violence instantly? You understand my question. Or is time necessary to go beyond so that the mind is never violent? If we accept violence as inevitable, the mind doesn't care, doesn't desire to go beyond. Is violence inevitable? If it is not, then is it possible to be free of violence without the momentum of time? We understand each other, this? What, sir? Violence. Violence is imitation. Violence is conformity. Violence is comparison. There is physical violence and the whole series of psychological violences. I include all that. Physical as well as psychological violences in which there are comparisons, suppression, conformity, imitation, measurement. When I measure myself against the hero or the ideal I have, that is violence because 'what is' is the fact. The abstraction is not a fact. So, I am asking: this violence which we have accepted as the way of life, which breeds such hatred, you know, all the rest of it, is it possible to go beyond it without having time? Have you understood my question now?
Can my mind, your mind, which is, which accepts violence because we imitate, conform and all the rest of it, can it put all that aside without the time quality entering into it? If the mind doesn't, then it is sowing seeds of violence all the time till it achieves an ideal which is called a state of mind in which violence is not. Right? So, I am asking, can the mind, your mind, be free of violence without the whole process of time involved? I do not know if you have thought about it or enquired into it. Probably majority of us have not, some may have, but if you have, the question is: can you observe, can the mind observe this violence without any movement of thought - for thought is time? The thought that says 'I must go beyond it'. The thought that has bred violence. Now, can you observe this violence both at the conscious as well as the unconscious level without the time quality of thought? Now, have I put the question clearly?
K: You say 'No'. Why do you say 'No'? If you saw that time is necessary, then you are sowing seeds of violence all the time. If you saw that, then what will you do? If you saw, understood, observed, gone into it and saw that 'what is' and 'what should be' is the distance which is covered by time and that during that distance or that travelling you are creating more violence. If you saw that, understood it, see the falseness of it, not intellectually, not verbally, not theoretically, but actually, then you would drop it, wouldn't you? Then you have only one thing left. Which is to observe without time. I don't know if
So, when the mind demands or desire demands experience, time is involved. So, is the understanding of something immeasurable, if it exists, is it a matter of time? You are following all this? Is meditation a continuity of a movement in time? Or is meditation something which is the observation, insight, perception in which the element of time doesn't enter at all? Seeking involves time. Finding involves time. When you have found it, you must recognise it. You will recognise it according to your conditioning and that implies time. Experience invites time, seeking implies time and the whole idea of meditation in order involves time. And you are trying to find out something which is timeless through time and, therefore you will never come upon it. Seeing that as an actual, logical, rational fact, what is the mind to do? Remain - wait, sir, I am going into it - remain in the prison in which it lives and bettering the imprisonment, more toilets, more space, more, all the rest of it, what is it to do? Now, just listen: is freedom the opposite of attachment? Is freedom opposite of a mind which is not free? Is there such a thing as freedom not from something but per se - for itself? You have understood? Sir, don't agree or disagree. Sir, you people have read so much, you are all second-hand human beings.
K: Not only third. Quite right. I applaud most earnestly. You won't become third-hand because I am not telling you anything.
K: Ah! No, I am not telling you a thing. I am not teaching you a thing. All that I am saying, observe. If you don't want to observe, perfectly all right. I am just pointing out, which doesn't mean second-hand or third-hand. If you can look without the second-hand mind, then you are free to walk.
So, what is a mind to do that has been brought up, cultivated, evolved in time? That is, put it another way: when you have an ideal and act according to that ideal, time is involved. Right? You are conforming to an ideal. You are not facing 'what is' but conforming. So your action is always limited by your conformity to a pattern. Now, what is the mind to do if it sees, knows, aware, is attentive, has understood the implication of time, then what is the mind to do? Remain in slavery? Which we do. Only we say we must go beyond that. Freedom is out there, but we are here and give me time to reach that. Time, reincarnation - you follow? - the whole process of it. We never say I must - there must be incarnation now, not tomorrow. So, if you see that - the falseness of it and the perception of the falseness is not transmissible, cannot be given to you, therefore, you are seeing the false as the false with eyes that are not second-hand eyes. You see this?
Seeing the false as the false and therefore seeing the truth is first-hand. Right? Now, seeing that, does it demand time at all? You will say 'yes' because my mind is lazy, my mind is so wandering all over the place, has so many problems, so many strains, it is afraid, it has, you know, it is in a turmoil. If I could only get over this turmoil, then I will be able to see it. Now, is the turmoil to be stopped, put aside through time? So, the whole structure of our thinking is based on time. We have put death over there in the distance, we have put reality in the distance, we have created this division between the reality and ourselves - if there is a reality. So, time is a factor, an immense factor, terrifying factor in our life. Time is the known. Right? The unknown must be out of time - if there is such a thing. So, can the mind observe without time? Does it need discipline? You are following? Discipline is conformity and therefore conformity implies time. I don't know if you are following all this? Everything that man has put together in order to find, whatever he wants to find, involves time. And in that time there is the hierarchy of achievement. Right? Oh, you don't see the beauty of it. Come!
So, I am asking, can the mind which is the product of time, which always functions within the field of time as the known, can that mind be free without practice, without discipline, without effort? Because all these imply time, be free of time, which means denying the whole human structure and philosophy. I don't know if you see this. Philosophy means the love of truth. The love of truth in daily life, not an abstraction which the philosophers invent. And can this mind - sir, this is real meditation, please - can this mind which is the product of time and agony and suffering, the mind which has been so hurt from childhood, the mind that has suffered so much, acquired so much knowledge, all the time striving, struggling, beating around in the prison which it has made, and in that prison are its own saviours, its own gurus, its own masters, its own enlightenment - all within the prison. Can that mind see the fact, see 'what is' and not make a move to go beyond it?
Have you noticed one thing? Most of us, practically every human being has suffered physically or psychologically. Suffering has been the lot of man. Do listen to this. One has shed tears, one has gone through various agonies and one asks why? Why should human beings go through all this torture? One asks or reasons, rationalises suffering, or one escapes from suffering through drugs, through ideals, through saviours, through anything to avoid that central fact of human agony. You do all these things, escape in different forms, intellectually, emotionally, psychologically and so on. Now, if you don't move at all from the fact of suffering, what takes place? When you move away from the fact, you are wasting energy, aren't you? Right? You suffer, I suffer, for various reasons, you suffer, one suffers and the pain of it psychologically or physically is enormous and not being able to solve it one runs away - books, sex, violence, anything, run away from 'what is'. The running away is a movement in time and therefore, wastage of time, wastage of energy. You've got it? Come on, sir! Do you understand? Can the mind face suffering without any movement of escape? When you do, what takes place? When you - when the mind which is suffering does not escape from the fact, from ''what is'', my son is dead, my brother is dead, I have lost my wife, my wife has turned away against me - you follow? - suffering in ten million, ten thousand ways, we go through agonies. And any movement away from that is not only a movement in time, but also wastage of energy. When you don't waste energy, that suffering is transformed into passion. Because the word 'passion' has its root in suffering. You understand? Go on, sirs. Shall we move along? Are you following this?
Now, face this. We are confronted with this fact. Feeling hot! We are confronted with this fact that all our activity, all our search, all our efforts, the whole process of thinking is based on time, is the fact of time. And through time we are trying to find something of a dimension in which time doesn't probably exist at all. Now, what is the mind to do? The mind can only observe without any movement of time and wastage of energy. Can you do it? Don't say no, because we are investigating together, therefore there is no yes or no. You understand, sir? When you are investigating there is care, there is affection, consideration, sharing together. And if you say I haven't, it's not possible, you are not sharing. What is possible is the impossible. You understand? You understand? But if you say it is possible, it is already done. So, we are asking the mind to do the most impossible thing. And when you ask the mind to do the most impossible thing, it has to meet it with that energy which will be able to tackle it. You understand?
So, I am - we are asking our minds not to think of possibilities, not to think in terms of time, we are asking the mind not to think at all. You are following? Because thought is time. Because thought is memory, experience, knowledge and that knowledge is our conditioning, psychologically. And we are asking the mind the most impossible thing. And because we are asking the most impossible thing, it has to meet it. And it will only meet it if you are serious. If you are playing around, if you say well, you know, then that's finished. But if the mind, because it has seen what the world is, because it has seen that the world is itself and itself is the world - you are the world and the world is you - it has seen clearly that the whole human endeavour is based on time, effort, struggle. The pain of practice. All that is fabricated by thought, by time. Can the mind put away all the works of human beings? You understand, sir? And that is an impossible question, as suffering is an impossible thing to bear. And when you are faced with the impossible burden, we generally escape. If you don't escape then the mind has to answer it and it does answer it. Because then it has got this tremendous energy which is really timeless. Right, sir. Right, I have finished.
Do you want to discuss anything?
Q: Does investigation involve time?
Q: Investigation, sir, does it not involve time?
K: Does investigation involve time. The explanation of investigation needs time. But real investigation, which is observation, doesn't need time. No? Sir, are you satisfied with that? Why? (laughter)
Q: I agree.
K: You just agree verbally?
K: Have you got that perception? Sir, don't. When a man is hungry he doesn't say, 'Yes, I am satisfied with words'. He wants food.
K: I am not against...
Q: ‘What is’ is violence.
K: Yes sir, I know this.
Q: What are you doing about it, sir?
K: About what sir? About what sir?
Q: There is nothing to do in fact.
K: We, human beings, right through the world, live in violence. We are violent, aggressive, ambitious, seeking power, competition. I have explained what is violence. The description of violence is not violence. Right? The word 'violence' is not the fact of violence.
K: What, sir?
K: Ah, no sir. To me silence is not the interval between two noises. Silence - please, don't. Either we are talking seriously or not. Silence is not the opposite of noise. If it is, it is not silence.
Q: What is silence?
K: I will tell you, sir. I will describe it. But the description is not silence. (laughter) What is silence? Is it the opposite of noise? Is it the interval between two thoughts? You have asked me, sir, I am going into it. Is it the opposite of noise, is it the opposite - is it the interval between two thoughts? Or is it merely the cessation of thought, the conscious cessation of thought and unconscious movement of thought going on? You are following all this? The conscious mind may be quiet, but the deeper layers of the mind may still continue, noisy, of which the conscious mind may be unaware and think that is silence. Right? You follow? Right sir? Is silence the product of practice, control, suppression? Is silence a mechanical product? If silence is none of these things - you follow? - then that is it.
K: Sir, sir, it doesn't matter. Just a minute, sir. Just a minute. You know, to listen to somebody you need silence. Otherwise you won't listen. If your mind is chattering, you are not listening. Are you? I want to tell you something. I want to tell you that I love you and if your mind is occupied thinking about something else, you are not listening. So, you need silence to listen and that is a most natural thing. Isn't it?
K: Why do you find...
K: I told you, sir, at the beginning that I am not telling you a thing. I am not
K: Please, sir. Each one, I have explained, each one has to be his own teacher and disciple.
Q: Thank you.
K: Don't thank me, that's a fact. (laughter) Don't laugh, sir, please. We have teachers outside of us. A man who teaches you how to ride a bicycle is one thing and that teacher is necessary, how to ride a bicycle. And there is no other teacher.
So, can the mind be silent, without coercion, without determination, without purpose, without a motive? And it is only then, when without a motive, purpose, a direction, then only the mind is silent.
Q: What can you do about the unconscious mind?
K: What can you do about the unconscious mind. I will show you. What is the unconscious mind, the deeper layers of consciousness? You have deeper layers of your consciousness, obviously, every one has. What are those layers? Are they not the thousand years of tradition? Are they not the racial accumulation? Is it not the tradition that has been handed down through culture, the hidden motives, hidden demands, hidden desires? It's all there. So, we are asking, please, we are asking how are all those secret recesses to be exposed? That's right, sir? Do you want to expose them? Because if you expose them, you might have much greater difficulties than you are having now. You understand this? Therefore, most of us let the sleeping dogs lie. We don't want to interfere down there, consciously. So we let it lie dormant. But there are occasions when it sends out its intimations. Haven't you noticed it? Either through dream or when you are not deliberately, consciously thinking about something, when you leave a little gap in your daily routine, there is silence, then there is intimation of all the content of that, deeper layers. Haven't you noticed all this? Yes, sir? So, will it be exposed through analysis? That's what the latest fashion is. Will it be exposed through analysis? That is, the analyser, be it professional or yourself, analysing every dream, every intimation, every hint and when you do analyse the analysis must be totally complete of that particular dream, of that particular hint or intimation. Otherwise you carry your analysis or the conclusion of your analysis to the next day and with that conclusion you are going to analyse. You are following? Therefore, gradually you will find through analysis you are paralysed. Right? Paralysis through analysis. I know you laugh but that's a fact.
So, how will you uncover this extraordinary depth? Analysis implies the analyser and the analysed, and that implies time. Right? And you can go on analysing for the rest of your life till you die, and that's what most people are doing, pretty happily and waiting death and they haven't solved a thing. So, when you see the falseness of it, please listen, when you see the falseness of analysis, the very truth liberates you from analysis. You've got it? You've understood, sir? You no longer analyse. Then how will you expose the deeper layers? Through dreams? Dreams are the continuation, aren't they, of your daily activity in symbolic form? And one asks, must one dream at all? I don't know - probably all this is too complex. Is it possible not to dream? And it is possible only, I am pointing out, I am not asking you to do it. I am not your teacher, your guru, thank God! Only the mind - and there are no dreams when you are very awake during the day. You understand? When your mind is fully awake, watching, not controlling, not trying to shape thought, not trying to run away, just watching during the day, you will see, if you are interested in it, that dreams become totally unnecessary, except superficial dreams which are physical, you know, that is through strain, so that the mind when it sleeps doesn't have to put order, doesn't have to bring about order. You have brought about order during the day. You are following all this? And, therefore, the function of the brain is to put order in things, otherwise it cannot function. So, if you are living in disorder during the day, the brain tries to bring about order during the night and that order is a form of dreams. You can see this for yourself. Whereas, if you during the day bring order, that is not order imposed by an ideal, a pattern but order that comes with the understanding of disorder. Then if you do that, then the brain is quiet at night, becomes, goes through all kinds of transformation, becomes tremendously active in its own way. We won't go into all that.
So, analysis won't expose it, the content. Dreams are unnecessary, except the most superficial ones. Then what will expose the mind, expose the deeper layers? Are the deeper layers any more important - please, listen to this - any more important than the superficial layers? If the superficial layers are understood, watched, then you have uncovered all the layers. And all the layers are very trivial, the very triviality is the concern of a trivial mind. So, we are saying through observation of daily life in relationship - and life means relationship, action means relationship - in that relationship there is attention, care, then the whole works are exposed and become rather trivial.
K: Yes, sir. Quite agree. The gentleman says the society in which we are born has produced this anxiety, this misery, this chaos, this turmoil in each of us. Therefore, he says change society first. Right, sir? Now, who is to change the society? You? Or the professionals? Because you are the world. You have made this world what it is. Of that there is no question. By your ambition, by your competition, by your greed, by your anxiety, you have made this structure.
K: I said that, sir. I said that. I said that.
Q: You haven’t said that.
K: Yes, sir, yes, sir. Yes, sir. I have said love. When I said care, that means love. No? Sir, look: what is love? Is love pleasure? Is love desire. Is love thought?
K: You mean to say through thought you love somebody? You love somebody through thought? Is thought love?
K: Yes, sir, I'm answering. I haven't finished that question of his, sir. Yes, sir. Is pleasure love? You think about it, sir. So, love is not jealousy. Right? Love is not hate. Love has no opposite. Love is not greed and envy and all the rest of it. And when the mind is caught in all that there is no love possible. Pleasures are possible. So, the question that gentleman asked is: 'How can I, living in this world, which all of us have created, the social structure, the establishment, the corruption, the sickness of this society in which we live, how is all that to be changed?' You want an external force to change it. A revolution, physical revolution or a new set of patterns invented by man - man being himself corrupt, he invents things which are also corrupt. Therefore, seeing that, the world is you and you are the world, you have to begin to change yourself, radically transform, bring about psychological revolution in yourself and that is not a matter of time. That's all.
Q: Sir, you asked us to absorb all(Inaudible)
K: Oh, Lord! Need I go into that? What are we the gentleman asked. Don't you know what you are?
K: Don't you know what you are. sir?
Q: Yes. I am different from my mind.
K: Are you?
Q: Because that is my mind.
K: Sir, sir, sir, sir. Are you different from your wife?
Q: Yes, I am different from my mind.
K: From your wife?
K: Oh! You are different from your mind?
Q: Yes. I am different from my mind, sir.
K: M-I-N-D? You are different from your mind. Are you?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: That settles it then! If you say you are different from your mind there is no more - it's finished. (laughter) Wait, sir, wait, sir, wait. (laughter) If you insist that you are different from your mind you are different from your mind, we can't go further. We can't investigate. We can't enquire. You have blocked yourself by saying 'I am different from my mind'. But if you want to investigate, if you want to learn whether you are different from your mind, don't assert that you are different from your mind. That's simple, sir.
Q: Sir, my question is: you asked us to observe our mind. We are different from my mind.
K: Oh, Lord!
Q: How we are different from our mind.
K: I didn't say that. All that I said...
K: How can the mind observe itself? Is that your question too, sir?
Q: No sir, my question is you asked us...
K: I have understood that, sir.
Q: You asked us to observe our mind. (Inaudible)
Q: Excellent! (laughter)
K: Sir, when I said observe your mind, I wasn't dividing your mind from my mind or somebody's else's mind. I said just observe your movement of thought, of your feelings. Observe it. How you observe it is important. If you observe it as an observer different from the thing you observe, then you have this problem of duality. Right?
Q: I have a problem, sir.
K: Sir, sir. Then you have this problem of duality.
Q: Sir, it’s not a problem.
K: All right, sir, there is no problem. My Lord, these people don't understand.
K: Leave him alone sir, please sir, if he wants to say, let him say, please. Isn't this a wastage of time? I agree, sir.
Q: There is much hatred between the people.
K: Yes, sir.
Q: Make us understand something.
Q: You keep quiet.
K: Sir. He has as much right to talk as you and I have.
K: No, sir.
Q: He is not able to follow the talk..
K: I know. So, let's have some patience. Let's have some consideration for each other. Not just say you are right and I am wrong and all the rest of it. I think we have talked for an hour and a half. That's enough.